Horak: Betting Haskell 2019 day's all-stakes Pick 4 on a budget

July 19, 2019 02:26pm
Horak: Betting Haskell 2019 day's all-stakes Pick 4 on a budget
Photo: Benoit

Monmouth Park is offering a $400,000 guaranteed all-stakes Pick 4 on Haskell Invitational day. The sequence includes the Wolf Hill Stakes, the Monmouth Cup (G3), the Matchmaker (G3) and the Haskell (G1). 

Frequently, I use the spread ticket formula to bet multi-race wagers on a budget, but not this time. I am going to key a horse in each of the four legs, and I will need at least two of my key horses to win. With this strategy, I can cash more than once. The total cost of my six suggested tickets is $41.50 playing the 50-cent minimum..  

Race 9: Wolf Hill Stakes (5 1/2 furlongs, turf)
Post Time: 3:56 p.m. ET

Key Horse: #5 TRICKS TO DOO (5-2) was outgunned in the Highlander (G1) at Woodbine on June 29. The $600,000 purchase was competitive in his other turf sprint starts, and Trevor McCarthy is 50% with Arnaud Delacour in his last 12 mounts for the trainer.

Backups: #7 Justaholic (9-2) switched to turf and looked good winning a local optional claiming sprint in his first start in almost a year on June 8. #8 Mai Ty One On (7-2) is a decent turf sprinter for sharp local trainer Jane Cibelli. Paco Lopez rides the outside tactical threat. #4 Fig Jelly (2-1) might take too much win action for Jason Servis. He is 0-for-5 at this distance with four runner-up finishes. 

Race 10: Grade 3 Monmouth Cup (9 furlongs)
Post Time: 4:29 p.m. ET

Key Horse: #2 LEMONADE THURSDAY (9-2) exits a big local optional claiming victory, and the 4-year-old colt might be the now horse in this spot. He should be forwardly placed and could step up to compete with graded foes.

Backups: #3 Coal Front (8-5) rode the good inside in the Met Mile (G1), but he faded to seventh in his first start since capturing the Godolphin Mile (G2) in Dubai. He reconnects with winning rider John Velazquez, and he should attend the pace. #4 Monongahela (3-1) exits a strong local win in the Iselin (G3), and he showed improved early interest that day. 

Race 11: Grade 3 Matchmaker (9 furlongs, turf)
Post Time: 5:06 p.m. ET

Key Horse: #2 I’M SO FANCY (9-2) exits a sharp stakes win at Laurel Park, and Saturday's added distance should only help her cause. I like her chances again for the productive McCarthy/Delacour team.

Backups: #6 Competitionofideas (9-5) is a consistent, versatile turf route performer for Chad Brown. She could easily take this event in her third start after a layoff. #3 Valedictorian (5-2) exits an easy win as the strong favorite in the Eatontown (G3). The early-pressing mare is 9-for-19 overall on turf and 4-for-5 at Monmouth. #4 Touriga (3-1) was very good in Brazil last year. Graham Motion trains her now, and she is a threat if she is ready to roll in her first start in more than nine months. #7 Xenobia (8-1) exits an even fourth in her US bow, and that was her first start in more than 10 months. Jonathan Thomas is sending out live runners at Monmouth, and he is very good with shippers. 

Race 12: Grade 1 Haskell (9 furlongs)
Post Time: 5:47 p.m. ET

Key Horse: #5 MUCHO GUSTO (2-1). Bob Baffert owns this race. Going back to 2001, he has saddled eight Haskell winners. I was unsure of Mucho Gusto’s route stamina heading into the Affirmed (G3) on June 16, but he relaxed nicely from the outside post and powered home under Joe Talamo that day. He drew well for this and sports back-to-back six furlong bullets.

Backups: #7 Maximum Security (8-5) is probably in for an outside stalking trip. He lost the Pegasus, but that was only a prep for this, and he should be ready to run a better race today. #1 King for a Day (5-2) upset Maximum Security as my value top choice in the Pegasus. He had the tactical position in that event, and might have a more difficult time working out a favorable trip from the rail today.

The tickets:

5/2/2-3-4-6-7/1-5-7 ($7.50)

5/2-3-4/2/1-5-7 ($4.50)

5/2-3-4/2-3-4-6-7/5 ($7.50)

4-5-7-8/2/2/1-5-7 ($6)

4-5-7-8/2/2-3-4-6-7/5 ($10)

50 cent Pick 4 (races 9-12): 4-5-7-8/2-3-4/2/5 ($6)


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